Panegyric to hope

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Time runs faster than us… This is an axiom. “The clock strikes. Everyone,” as the wise Pole Stanisław Jerzy Lec once remarked.

Every time in the last minutes of the outgoing year, I raise a glass of champagne with a slight sadness: another stage of my life has passed… And it is ineffectively to count the results of the past year. It is only in your youth that you don’t consider that every new year moves on with your timeline but still keeps you behind. For the time left in the past is irreversible. In earthly life, we can regain anything: money, property, a wife, but not our age.

“Until the age of forty, I was an Armenian, but now I am just a man,” one good friend once opened up to me. Good Lord, how right he is! “Just a man” does not live by disappointments in the human race steeped in xenophobia, greed, militancy, and so on, but by a natural hope for the best. Do you think it is primitive? No, not like that… As Andre Maurois, one of my most respected French fiction writers, taught, even “the fear of death in old age can be overcome with faith and philosophy.” And at all its twists, our life, on a larger scale, is subject to only one principal feeling that is fear. It is not necessarily the fear of death. You see, this is a philosophical approach. Unpretentious, of course. But still…

Strong pessimists argue that we are losing a better present while pursuing a hope for a better future. But hope is the ability to resist in a probably hopeless situation (sorry for the tautology!).

My innermost hopes are connected with the coming year. May it be rich in surprises for all of us – only pleasant ones. Let it be peaceful, cloudless, generous, joyful. Will it come true or not? Let’s not guess without a daisy. The Frenchman Pierre Boiste, author of the famous Encyclopedia of the Mind, said: “Our hopes are day dreams.” And we know for certain that dreams sometimes come true.

Happy New Year, dear readers!

Kirill Privalov

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